Jefferies Group LLC Reaffirms “Buy” Rating for Zions Bancorporation (NASDAQ:ZION)

Jefferies Group LLC reiterated their buy rating on shares of Zions Bancorporation (NASDAQ:ZION) in a report issued on Friday, July 14th. Jefferies Group LLC currently has a $49.00 target price on the bank’s stock.

A number of other research firms have also recently weighed in on ZION. Barclays PLC boosted their price target on Zions Bancorporation from $45.00 to $48.00 and gave the stock an overweight rating in a report on Tuesday, April 25th. BMO Capital Markets reissued a hold rating and set a $44.00 price target on shares of Zions Bancorporation in a research report on Thursday, June 29th. Keefe, Bruyette & Woods reissued a hold rating and set a $44.00 price target on shares of Zions Bancorporation in a research report on Monday, June 19th. Morgan Stanley reissued an equal weight rating and set a $45.00 price target (up previously from $43.00) on shares of Zions Bancorporation in a research report on Monday, June 5th. Finally, Zacks Investment Research downgraded Zions Bancorporation from a buy rating to a hold rating in a research report on Friday, July 7th. Two analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, thirteen have issued a hold rating and twelve have given a buy rating to the company. Zions Bancorporation presently has an average rating of Hold and an average price target of $44.04.

Shares of Zions Bancorporation (NASDAQ:ZION) opened at 44.11 on Friday. Zions Bancorporation has a one year low of $28.08 and a one year high of $48.33. The stock’s 50 day moving average is $44.52 and its 200-day moving average is $42.76. The stock has a market cap of $8.92 billion, a P/E ratio of 17.56 and a beta of 1.44.

Zions Bancorporation (NASDAQ:ZION) last issued its quarterly earnings data on Tuesday, July 25th. The bank reported $0.73 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, topping the consensus estimate of $0.62 by $0.11. The firm had revenue of $660 million during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $640.34 million. Zions Bancorporation had a return on equity of 8.14% and a net margin of 21.97%. During the same period in the previous year, the firm posted $0.44 earnings per share. On average, equities analysts forecast that Zions Bancorporation will post $2.82 EPS for the current year.

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Zions Bancorporation announced that its Board of Directors has initiated a stock buyback program on Wednesday, June 28th that permits the company to buyback $465.00 million in shares. This buyback authorization permits the bank to purchase up to 5.3% of its stock through open market purchases. Stock buyback programs are usually an indication that the company’s management believes its shares are undervalued.

The company also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Thursday, August 24th. Investors of record on Thursday, August 17th will be issued a dividend of $0.12 per share. This represents a $0.48 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 1.09%. This is a positive change from Zions Bancorporation’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.08. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Tuesday, August 15th. Zions Bancorporation’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is currently 12.75%.

In other Zions Bancorporation news, insider David E. Blackford sold 942 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction dated Monday, May 15th. The stock was sold at an average price of $40.44, for a total transaction of $38,094.48. Following the transaction, the insider now directly owns 29,415 shares in the company, valued at $1,189,542.60. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which is available through this link. Also, insider David E. Blackford sold 1,242 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction dated Tuesday, May 23rd. The shares were sold at an average price of $40.73, for a total value of $50,586.66. Following the transaction, the insider now owns 28,696 shares in the company, valued at $1,168,788.08. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Over the last quarter, insiders have sold 26,779 shares of company stock valued at $1,128,012. 1.46% of the stock is owned by corporate insiders.

A number of large investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the company. Franklin Resources Inc. purchased a new stake in Zions Bancorporation during the fourth quarter worth $1,808,000. Ladenburg Thalmann Financial Services Inc. increased its stake in Zions Bancorporation by 2.8% in the fourth quarter. Ladenburg Thalmann Financial Services Inc. now owns 4,494 shares of the bank’s stock worth $194,000 after buying an additional 124 shares during the period. Norges Bank purchased a new stake in Zions Bancorporation during the fourth quarter worth $45,908,000. River & Mercantile Asset Management LLP purchased a new stake in Zions Bancorporation during the fourth quarter worth $5,533,000. Finally, USA Financial Portformulas Corp acquired a new position in shares of Zions Bancorporation during the fourth quarter worth approximately $3,577,000. 94.93% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

About Zions Bancorporation

Zions Bancorporation is a financial holding company. The Company conducts its banking operations through separately managed and branded segments, including Zions Bank, Amegy Bank, California Bank & Trust, National Bank of Arizona, Nevada State Bank (NSB), Vectra Bank Colorado, The Commerce Bank of Washington (TCBW) and Other.

Analyst Recommendations for Zions Bancorporation (NASDAQ:ZION)

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